The meaning of sustainability can be interpreted differently with some people relating it to recycling and renewable energy and others using it in a broader sense of creating a sustainable environment to live in impacting lifestyle choices such as clothing, diet and so on. Undeniably the commercial interiors and fit out industry has had to adapt them traditional processes to make way for more sustainable outcomes to support the climate change crisis.

Read our thoughts below on how a sustainable office space can be achieved.

Sustainable Goals

It is important to determine what sustainable goals you want to achieve from the start as this drives the complete process from concept to finished space. For example, you may just want to make your office as energy efficient as possible or create a space that supports mental and physical wellbeing or you may opt to go for an accreditation like SKA Gold like our University of Hull EEI project achieved.

Many companies now have CSR strategies and ESG commitments so when redesigning an office space it is important that sustainability is considered from the outset.

Sustainable Design Considerations

The design of the office space will completely determine the sustainability of it. If materials and products used such as flooring, furniture and fabrics aren’t sustainable this will naturally impact the sustainability of the project.

There are many products that can be sourced to meet your sustainability goals. For example manufacturers are now creating carbon neutral flooring, sustainable furniture by using natural materials  in way that doesn’t damage the environment and materials made from environmentally certified yarns  through a zero waste manufacturing process.

We recommend having discussion with your interior design to discuss the ways your office space design can be more sustainable through materials and products used within the design, this may be through new products and materials that are more sustainable sourced and created or through recycling elements of your current office space that are still fit for purpose.

Culture and wellbeing

Wellbeing in the workplace is becoming ever more important to both employers and employees. While it is important to design your office space around the idea of sustainable materials and products, company culture and employee wellbeing should also be considered.

Sustainability and wellbeing closely align together so decisions to involve plants, meditation rooms, areas for socialising like coffee lounges all improve sustainability of the working environment. A great way to combine sustainability and employee wellbeing is through biophilic design, which can be seen in many of our projects at Chameleon. Bringing the nature inside by designing a space that offers lots of natural light, fresh air, plants, greenery and natural colour will really benefit the business and those in it.

Delivery

The onsite delivery of your sustainable office space through the site and project management can impact the sustainability of the scheme. For example, when conducting a strip out, materials need to be managed correctly so that recyclable materials and products are saved from landfill and reused in some capacity if possible.

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